2022 Second Place High School Music

"Maximilian’s Watch" by John Nelson, Caddo Magnet High School

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Author's Statement

Maximilian watches over Zelenskiy as they both fight to save their people. I set the piano and cello against each other, where the piano's staccato plucking, repeated back-and-forth unsettling chords mimic a clock, the ticking of war and its often unintelligible timeline, the pacing and march of war. The cello tunes in as a voice of Maximilian and Zelenskiy against the piano's beckoning, weaving to avoid it and at times fighting against it. I created three parts: before conflict, unsettling and uncertain, with a ticking forced chaos of invasion; during the invasion or concentration, with swells of perseverance through cruelty, and self-sacrifice; and the heroic end of their pure and saintly dedication, willing to die for the peaceful salvation of their compatriots. It resolves into the righteous and steadfast resolve of these incredible individuals.